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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 07-24-2016, 10:41 AM   #1
tehdricd
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Nc
Posts: 21
My Ride: 04 325i
QUICK QUESTION: Coolant overflow tank

I've seen many of the posts on here about the cooling system over haul that should be done at certain times. Im sure the previous owner of my 325 didnt catch that memo. I plan on replacing the overflow tank and coolant hoses because there is a slight crack in the tank. I can still drive it, I just have to add coolant mixture every so often and I always watch the temp and smell of coolant in the engine.

NOW THE QUESTION:
Should I risk driving a 250mi drive one way with the cracked tank?
I ordered the parts and the tank won't be here until after my trip.

Please send some feedback
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Old 07-24-2016, 01:44 PM   #2
allikanbe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tehdricd View Post
I've seen many of the posts on here about the cooling system over haul that should be done at certain times. Im sure the previous owner of my 325 didnt catch that memo. I plan on replacing the overflow tank and coolant hoses because there is a slight crack in the tank. I can still drive it, I just have to add coolant mixture every so often and I always watch the temp and smell of coolant in the engine.

NOW THE QUESTION:
Should I risk driving a 250mi drive one way with the cracked tank?
I ordered the parts and the tank won't be here until after my trip.

Please send some feedback
No. Anyone who says "yes", isn't paying for your repairs on the road. Where are you going?
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Old 07-24-2016, 01:48 PM   #3
tehdricd
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From Durham,nc to Virginia Beach. I've been driving with the crack, seems like coolant drops to about half in a week.
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Old 07-24-2016, 01:54 PM   #4
BKMrSteel
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No, don't risk it. And it's not an overflow tank, it's an expansion tank.
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Old 07-24-2016, 01:56 PM   #5
tehdricd
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Oh yeah, damn I keep calling it that. Yeah, I think I just needed more people to drill it into my head haha thanks alot guys.
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Old 07-24-2016, 06:40 PM   #6
allikanbe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tehdricd View Post
From Durham,nc to Virginia Beach. I've been driving with the crack, seems like coolant drops to about half in a week.
If you decide to make the trip and disaster strikes, I have a used tank that is probably still good. I'm in Yorktown, VA about 40 miles from Va Beach. The tank is from my 2006 330Ci.

Last edited by allikanbe; 07-24-2016 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 07-25-2016, 09:09 AM   #7
cwarel
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I just jb welded my crack which was 1 inch long also in the middle which lead the expansion tank to loose half of the coolant , While new expansion tanks comes i took a dremel drilled holes on each side of the crack , and opened up the crack a little so jb weld will go in there. 2 weeks later tank came , the crack hasnt opened and im just too lazy to swap it , but its gonna go bad eventually and im gonna pay for it , but i dont drive more than 50 miles from home))
and Allikabne used tanks are bad too, they will pop because plastic gets too old , he will be better off buying a new one or if he has money to buy aluminum
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Old 07-25-2016, 09:13 AM   #8
tehdricd
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The aluminum tank for sale looks amazing, but many purchasers have issues relocating the airbox after installation. Yeah, its not the parts, its the time. Just need more time. Lol
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Old 07-25-2016, 09:17 AM   #9
cwarel
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My dad told me after his experience with e46's cuz he has 4 of them , he says dont jb welded and dont drive the car , I didnt listen and just jb welded and im driving it very aggressively ( oh and i set my temp to go up to 84,8C instead of stock car setting which is 103.5C which is higher than a boiling point of water so you definitely gotta put antifreeze in these cars , maybe the way i set my temp in ecu saves me from blowing that tank )))

Last edited by cwarel; 07-25-2016 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 07-27-2016, 02:50 AM   #10
Dogthebountyhunter
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Hey tehdricd, I think you should Swap the tank asap or atleast before you go on a long trip. I don't think it will hold up especially since it's been a pretty hot summer. If you don't have a choice I would bring a bunch of gallons of distilled water incase you loose too much coolant. You don't want to be stranded 100 miles from home with a blown expansion tank. I blew mine the first night I got my e46, good thing I was a few blocks from home and didn't overheat. If you are going to go on the trip anyway I would get a white marker and mark the crack on the tank. Maybe pull over and check the crack every 20 or so miles so you can see if it gets any bigger.

Last edited by Dogthebountyhunter; 07-27-2016 at 03:02 AM.
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Old 07-27-2016, 03:04 PM   #11
BKMrSteel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwarel View Post
My dad told me after his experience with e46's cuz he has 4 of them , he says dont jb welded and dont drive the car , I didnt listen and just jb welded and im driving it very aggressively ( oh and i set my temp to go up to 84,8C instead of stock car setting which is 103.5C which is higher than a boiling point of water so you definitely gotta put antifreeze in these cars , maybe the way i set my temp in ecu saves me from blowing that tank )))
The physics behind a pressurized system is what raises the boiling point.
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Old 07-27-2016, 05:25 PM   #12
tehdricd
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Yesss pressure does raise boiling point.

Anyways, any estimate on how long it would take to swap the tank and two hoses out? I want to do it tomorrow before I work at noon. But I also dont want to have a job turn into a 8 hr fix
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Old 07-28-2016, 09:07 PM   #13
tehdricd
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Well I did the swap and it went well. Now I feel super paranoid though because I bled the tank and got rid of the air bubbles to fill up on coolant, but today after driving it to work and back, I noticed pooling of coolant ontop of my expansion tank. Could this just be because I filled it up to max. Or could I hae another leak?
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Old 07-29-2016, 12:16 PM   #14
BKMrSteel
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I don't think our system is supposed to dump anything, even extra fluid. Though not 100%, was hopping someone else would comment. I do know you don't want too much fluid, don't over fill it expecting bubbles in the system to fix the level.
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